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January 11, 2007 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Netflix is dead....or so claims Robert Scoble (others disagree). Wal-Mart couldn't do it, Amazon couldn't do it; has Verisign produced a Netflix killer?
posted by Horace Rumpole (80 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Netcraft confirms it... /slashdot
posted by killdevil at 4:03 PM on January 11, 2007


How many people who pay for movie content want to watch it on their computer or have a media center computer hooked up to the family room TV? People want DVDs because it's easy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:11 PM on January 11, 2007


what adobe has managed to do with macromedia flash never ceases to amaze me.
posted by phaedon at 4:13 PM on January 11, 2007


Hmm. My wife ended up with Kontiki on her machine once, bundled with a sheet music viewer. It slowed her machine down quite a bit, and I wiped/reinstalled her machine after we found it, because we couldn't get it uninstalled.

If installing Flash means becoming part of a peer-to-peer network, then that's a version of Flash that's never getting installed -- unlike a lot of folks, I use my upstream bandwidth to serve things and send mail (run my own mail server, not spam) and have no intention of voluntarily giving that bandwidth away for nothing.

Still, most people will install it and not worry about it. This should be interesting.
posted by davejay at 4:14 PM on January 11, 2007


Does Verisign have "Coupon: The Movie"?
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:17 PM on January 11, 2007


How many people who pay for movie content want to watch it on their computer or have a media center computer hooked up to the family room TV? People want DVDs because it's easy.

The real Netflix killer: this service run by/with Apple using Apple TV. If/when Apple TV comes down to a reasonable price (say, more in line with the cost of a DVD player) for the average consumer, it'll be a revolution in the way we rent and buy entertainment
posted by saraswati at 4:17 PM on January 11, 2007


Well, the not using Windows Media DRM is a plus. And if it work with the Apple TV thingy then I'm totally down for trying it.

But like every MP3 player released in the past 5 years has been an iPod killer, I don't think this will kill netflix.
posted by birdherder at 4:19 PM on January 11, 2007


How many people who pay for movie content want to watch it on their computer or have a media center computer hooked up to the family room TV? People want DVDs because it's easy.

My thoughts exactly.

Also, the beauty of renting is that I'm not stuck with the movie. I watch it, and if I really like it, I'll buy it again. But still, how often do I watch the movies I already own on DVD? I couldn't tell you the last time I did. Renting is a much better option for me and people like me, and the DVD's are damn simple to use.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:22 PM on January 11, 2007


Netcraft confirms it...

Red ink flows from Los Gatos like a river of blood.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2007


Similarly, there's this, which does let you burn the download to a DVD for playback on your TV, but will feature some DRM.
posted by briank at 4:24 PM on January 11, 2007


My wife ended up with Kontiki on her machine once, bundled with a sheet music viewer. It slowed her machine down quite a bit, and I wiped/reinstalled her machine after we found it, because we couldn't get it uninstalled.

You need kclean.exe (BBC still has it.)

Netflix mail model is dead anyway. It will either develop its own digital-delivery model or perish, imo.

On preview: the Verisign/Adobe models uses DRM too, just not Windows DRM.

VeriSign's peer-to-peer solution built digital rights management into the technology, blocking unauthorized distribution.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:25 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


no.
posted by empath at 4:30 PM on January 11, 2007


I'm with Netflix for now. I like the selection, and the ability to watch movies in bed. This might kill netflix, but only among the hyper-tech fans.
posted by drezdn at 4:30 PM on January 11, 2007


Scroble is usually wrong about everything, so go from there.
posted by keswick at 4:30 PM on January 11, 2007


And the hypertech people are probably just using bit-torrents anyways.
posted by drezdn at 4:31 PM on January 11, 2007


Hmm. I seem to remember Netflix stating that it already had a digital delivery system under development...
I would guess that this would be the first time big-time profit-making companies will get in a bit tizzy with ISPs, if they don't have a deal already.
Also, I think that Flash is a totally underrated underdog right now... it made internet video a success, while Real, Microsoft, and Apple fell on their asses.
posted by tmcw at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2007


Are they absolutely kidding? Let's step back from the MeFi world of computer-usage, and think about how Joe Average (or my dad) would respond to this.

"Wait, I have to install software? How do I do that? Ahh, forget it. I'll just rent it from the grocery store."

The beauty of netflix lies in the fact that their user base has expanded past the computer-smart young whipper-snappers. Their web interface is stupid easy, and beyond picking movies, the amount of input/interaction from the user is minimal. It just plain works. Some of the most satisfied netflix users I know are retirees who watch several movies a week, because they've got time on their hands.

Try getting this demographic to worry about installing software, making sure their computer (or media player) is fast enough, hooked up correctly, has all the codecs they need, they're using the right remote, the input to the television is set correctly, and on and on and on.

The only real question is what percentage of netflix users fit this description. I think it's higher than most would guess.

On preview - what drezdn said, basically.
posted by god hates math at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Another thing that I think will keep the Netflix mail model around for a while longer is inertia. Unless people suddenly start hating Netflix, they won't feel the need to switch to other services. Hell, some people still rent from Blockbuster stores.
posted by drezdn at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


has Verisign produced a Netflix killer?

No, its going to be like that Enron-Blockbuster deal all over again...

The real Netflix killer: this service run by/with Apple using Apple TV. If/when Apple TV comes down to a reasonable price (say, more in line with the cost of a DVD player) for the average consumer, it'll be a revolution in the way we rent and buy entertainment

The real Netflix killer is the XBox 360 and the up-coming introduction of a new unit with a larger hard drive (~120 gigs) and IPTV. It supports dvds out of the box, and is the cheapest HD-DVD soloution on the market. It already works with Media Center 2005 and Vista as an extender.

And if it work with the Apple TV thingy then I'm totally down for trying it.

The Apple TV thing stinks. It's a closed box, only works at 720p, has no divx support (if you're going to be steaming files, why not add divx? Makes no sense), has no inputs for non-HDTVs (no composite or S-video, just HDMI and component), you can't select what you want to steam from your computer from the AppleTV (You need to tell the appleTV what you want to watch ahead of time from your computer, wait for it to stream, and then watch it). It'll fail, except among the most harde core mac users.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:38 PM on January 11, 2007


Why does anybody take Robert Scoble seriously?
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:41 PM on January 11, 2007


This is silly. Cable on-demand gets me movies. I can watch them on my tv, which is way better than my crappy computer monitor. I don't even have to use my dvd player (but I can if I want to.) Why would I buy a third device (apple tv) to do what on-demand already accomplishes?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:43 PM on January 11, 2007


Let me rephrase that.

I especially don't want to watch movies on my computer, if they are available to watch on my tv.

Cable provides me with an assortment of movie options.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:45 PM on January 11, 2007


you can't select what you want to steam from your computer from the AppleTV (You need to tell the appleTV what you want to watch ahead of time from your computer, wait for it to stream, and then watch it).

I don't believe that is correct. In fact, part of Job's presentation showed him selecting TV shows stored on Phil Schiller's computer using the (Apple)TV. Not that I don't think (Apple)TV is a retardedly limited system and even as a confirmed Apple fanboi I'd much rather have an XBox 360.
posted by gyc at 4:46 PM on January 11, 2007


Killer? Nope, just another option in this ever-evolving and expanding digital ecosystem.
posted by tritisan at 4:50 PM on January 11, 2007


As drezdn points out, people still do rent from Blockbuster, and what's more, Blockbuster has a new offering similar to Netflix, but with the added possibility of returning your video to your local store as opposed to mailing it in, as well as receiving
a new video.

I know plenty of people who will find that attractive.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:55 PM on January 11, 2007


yeah, AppleTV seems like a non-starter from what I've seen.

Hell, some people still rent from Blockbuster stores.

Hell, I canceled my GreenCine subscription and now rent only from video stores (but nay blockbuster). Generally instant gratification and 99% watch rate vs. second choices and occasional unwatched DVDs that sit for a week before I return them.

All depends on volume, I suppose. I only rent a handful of times a month, or less.

Once I can download a movie (regardless of DRM) in the same timeframe (~15 minutes) and for less than renting from the store, I'll give it a shot. I expect to be frequenting the store for a while.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:55 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Netflix mail model is dead anyway. It will either develop its own digital-delivery model or perish, imo.

You vastly underestimate the bandwidth of the mail.

It's a closed box

And the 360 isn't?
posted by oaf at 4:57 PM on January 11, 2007


I could see myself using this and being ok with. I would NOT install it for my parents. I do NOT want to be called repeatedly when they want to watch a movie. When you are able to use such a service by merely turning on your TV and scrolling a few menus, THEN you can claim it's a Netflix killer.
posted by ninjew at 4:58 PM on January 11, 2007


1) # of people with HDTVs;
2) # of people with pipes fat enough to d/l HD-sized data content quickly and reliably;
3) # of people who have an HD-capable PC to TV setup...

Based on just those requirements, it's really hard to imagine a video download service that will appeal to a large enough consumer base to make it competitive. Too much "exotic" equipment required. A company that wants to stream movies needs to look towards supplying the content through devices that people have ready access to - basically, marrying their service to a cable or dish provider.

I'm getting irrationally excited about a multi-petabyte server farm holding every movie every made... and then nuking the Uwe Boll node.
posted by krippledkonscious at 5:01 PM on January 11, 2007


Netflix was dead to me when their pop-up ads (temporarily) got past my Firefox pop-up blocker. Wherever possible, I avoid supporting anybody who advertises via web pop-ups. And I try to avoid anything that consists of 'renting' intellectual property. It just encourages the copyright nazis.
posted by wendell at 5:03 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


oaf writes "You vastly underestimate the bandwidth of the mail."

That latency's a killer, though.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:07 PM on January 11, 2007


VeriSign is like the anti-Google: they do things, stupid things which they've got to know won't make them any real money and which probably cost them sales in the long term, just to be evil. It wasn't enough to bring to the mainstream the practice of sending purchase orders disguised as bills in the hopes that they'll be inadvertently paid by distracted cubicle dwellers, a technique historically favored by the more inept of the small-time con-artists who can't hack the shell game. Nor did they stop at trying to break every non-HTTP Internet application in one fell swoop. Now they're aiming for bandwidth-leeching malware on every desk. A good rule of thumb: if VeriSign is involved, it will suck and you will get screwed. Good-bye, Flash.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:13 PM on January 11, 2007


This might kill netflix, but only among the hyper-tech fans.

In other words, this will barely graze Netflix, but a bunch of geeks will get all hot and bothered and post things to MeFi.
posted by languagehat at 5:14 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Red ink flows from Los Gatos like a river of blood.

They've been in the black, according to their income statements at least, for the past several years.

As for the latency of NetFlix, thanks to *cough* I've got quite a buffer of content filled up to avoid this.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:15 PM on January 11, 2007


The real Netflix killer is the 360? Please. I adore my 360, but for the price of a single HD movie, I could rent 6 or more from Netflix in a month.
posted by GilloD at 5:23 PM on January 11, 2007


Netflix won't be dead until the practical bandwidth limits of getting movies online exceeds the bandwidth of DVD and snail-mail.

I downloaded a movie while there in the booth and the quality wasn’t distinguishable from the HD-DVD’s I get from Netflix.

This is either nonsense, or indicative of a very small file size. On my DSL connection, an HD-DVD would take a day or two to download. Really fast cable might cut that to 8 hours. So is this some 320x480 pixel movie, or what?

Give me a break. Netflix has nothing at all to worry about, at least not from this.

Come on. This appeals to a fraction of the people Netflix appeals to, and only a fraction of those people have the wherewithal (in the form of home network bandwidth and media PCs piping bits into their TV) to do it.

The Pundit's Fallacy is pretty thick on this one. This service is very cool to Scoble. It won't be that cool to a mass audience, at least not for the foreseeable future.
posted by teece at 5:26 PM on January 11, 2007


I adore my 360, but for the price of a single HD movie, I could rent 6 or more from Netflix in a month.

Xbox 360 HD rentals are $6. Huh?
posted by smackfu at 5:29 PM on January 11, 2007


How many people who pay for movie content want to watch it on their computer or have a media center computer hooked up to the family room TV? People want DVDs because it's easy.

Possibly more than you think. When we set up house, we didn't bother buying a TV. We just set up a standard desktop computer with a TV tuner card, piped the cable into the back of it, and voila... a box that plays our MP3s, podcasts, PC games, tv programs, movies, DVDs and...

Okay. You're right. It's for geeks.
posted by Zinger at 5:41 PM on January 11, 2007


Xbox 360 HD rentals are $6. Huh?

If you can maintain a 2/week (eg. Get Tue -> Send Wed -> Get Fri -> Send Sat) cycle rate (and they don't throttle you down) NetFlix works out to $1/title.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:41 PM on January 11, 2007


The beauty of Netflix (and what makes Blockbuster suck shit) is the depth of the Netflix catalog. Old movies, foreign films, things that Blockbuster thinks are too dirty for me. I've got four hundred dvds in my queue and half of them wouldn't be found anywhere near Blockbuster.

And until they build big fat data pipes out to my little corner of the swamp, I'll stick with Netflix, thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 5:43 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


When I asked to my blog readers what they prefer between HD-DVD/Blu-Ray and Video Marketplace (or similar system by Sony) most of the people picked the discs. Italy however it's a very different market (no netflix, for example) and our DSLs sucks. I don't think that Blockbuster and Netflix have to worry about digital downloads. It's good to have the choice, anyway: so you can take on HD-DVD what you can't find on HD-DVD and download what it's just blu-ray exclusive (like.. sony movies?).
posted by darkripper at 5:45 PM on January 11, 2007


This is why Netflix will survive. Blu-ray or HDDVD adoption will occur faster than the spread of >6mbps broadband. It will be more efficient to ship the 20 gigs of data through the mail than to stream it or download it.

You are thinking of Netflix in the wrong way. Netflix is a $20 month storage fee for storing all your movies. Is there some other solution for storing the petabytes of data that netflix has for $20 per month?
posted by Pastabagel at 5:57 PM on January 11, 2007


The real Netflix killer is the XBox 360 and the up-coming introduction of a new unit with a larger hard drive (~120 gigs) and IPTV. It supports dvds out of the box, and is the cheapest HD-DVD soloution on the market. It already works with Media Center 2005 and Vista as an extender.

This is the Netflix killer for you. I was referring to the average consumer. I can tell you the majority of people I know who use Netflix (or the Canadian equivalent, Zip) aren't going to cancel their account for this kind of service if it means laying down a huge chunk of cash for a gaming console. They would consider it, however, if there was a simple set top box that could stream the movies easily and didn't cost much more than a DVD player.

Baby_Balrog brings up an interesting point though. I would much prefer some kind of on demand service from my television service provider.
posted by saraswati at 6:09 PM on January 11, 2007


If you can maintain a 2/week (eg. Get Tue -> Send Wed -> Get Fri -> Send Sat) cycle rate (and they don't throttle you down) NetFlix works out to $1/title.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:41 PM EST on January 11


This is slow. I get over 3 per week. return a movie monday, get another wed, return thurs. get another fri. If I pushed it I could watch and return the same day by dropping the film off at the post office. I think it depends where you live.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:11 PM on January 11, 2007


The problem with Netflix is the shallowness of its catalog, compared to a couple of local video shops in my part of town. Doesn't anyone just go out and rent movies anymore? Shit, I still rent some obscure stuff on VHS!

And get off of my lawn, you kids!
posted by adamrice at 6:15 PM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


no f'ing way

pop a DVD in for your kids - done - go do something else
boot up the computer, BSOD, repeat, download, or send wireless to TV only to have who the f knows what else going on. Insane. I have customers who open a computer and don't touch it for months. I go to their house for a service call and they can manage to get satellite radio to work and all have DVD players becuase it's PLUG AND PLAY.

Hyper nerds already download sheit and setup some Linux beowulf cluster to wireless stream it over an open vpn connection.

Your average person will not.

I personally use Redbox. Zip zam zoom done and I am at the grocery store already. Great service IMHO.
posted by evilelvis at 6:16 PM on January 11, 2007


"The problem is that those networks require users to load some software on their machines. Anytime I hear that I realize that getting people to do that is going to be difficult.

But on Monday Verisign announced a deal with Adobe who’ll distribute their P2P infrastructure along with the next version of the Flash player."


the flash player is software, no? why does adobe have no trouble getting people to load software on thier machines but these other networks supposedly will? shit, people will load any silly piece of crap on thier machines. the trouble is preventing them from doing so. what planet does this scoble dork live on anyway?
posted by quonsar at 6:22 PM on January 11, 2007


The problem with Netflix is the shallowness of its catalog, compared to a couple of local video shops in my part of town.

We can't all live in Austin, you bastard. *sniff, sniff* God, I miss Austin.
posted by ColdChef at 6:28 PM on January 11, 2007


The problem with Netflix is the shallowness of its catalog, compared to a couple of local video shops in my part of town.

We can't all live in Austin, you bastard. *sniff, sniff* God, I miss Austin.
posted by ColdChef at 6:28 PM on January 11, 2007


I miss it a lot, apparently.
posted by ColdChef at 6:29 PM on January 11, 2007


"You vastly underestimate the bandwidth of the mail."

My Mail does have massive bandwidth but the latency is the killer!!
posted by Megafly at 6:33 PM on January 11, 2007


Seconded (or thirded, I guess), ColdChef. How is it that I moved to a vastly larger city (Boston), and there isn't a video store that can touch the awesomeness that is Vulcan?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:33 PM on January 11, 2007


Scoble -- that's the guy who thought he could change Microsoft from the inside, yeah?

You'd think that with all his experience in the industry he would already know that a demo, that probably downloaded data from a dedicated server located a few feet away from the client, will be very different from what users will actually experience.
posted by clevershark at 6:35 PM on January 11, 2007


quonsar writes "why does adobe have no trouble getting people to load software on thier machines but these other networks supposedly will? "

hehe... I hope that people will remember what happened to Kazaa once it started trojanning additional "capabilities" into its software. Does anyone still use Kazaa?
posted by clevershark at 6:38 PM on January 11, 2007


Why I prefer DVDs & Netflix: EXTRAS! As far as I know, digital downloads don't have the best part of DVDs..

ColdChef & Horace Rumple: I am sorry for squandering my Austin residency.
posted by puritycontrol at 6:41 PM on January 11, 2007


I never thought I would say this (and for the record, I live in Austin), but Blockbuster killed Netflix for me.

I get three movies in the mail, watch them, take them back to the store and get three more right then, AND have the movies from my queue sent to me as well? Awesome. We are *never* without a movie.

And I don't have to watch it on my 12" laptop screen.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:03 PM on January 11, 2007


When has Scoble ever been right? About anything?

Also, Verisign is just behind SCO in the Most Evil Company Ever race. They'll certainly find a way to screw their customers if this ever launches.

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a trunk full of hard drives."

Or the USPS.
posted by bshort at 7:06 PM on January 11, 2007


Pudgy internet nerd declares something dead, news at 11.
posted by boo_radley at 7:08 PM on January 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't have time to read comments. Don't have time to figure out how to hook up my computer to my TV. Don't laugh, most average people are like me. I am not your average computer-savvy MeFite. Netflix/Blockbuster models are not dead...this year, anyway.
posted by kozad at 7:30 PM on January 11, 2007


just wanted to highlight two comments from other people which summarize my feelings:

if VeriSign is involved, it will suck and you will get screwed

scoble is wrong about anything
posted by cell divide at 7:43 PM on January 11, 2007


VeriSign's partnership with Adobe Systems, which will integrate its recently launched peer-to-peer content distribution system into Adobe's Flash video software.

Am I understanding this right, and some new version of the Flash player will have built-in p2p crap in it? Or are they just talking about putting a Verisign p2p plug-in into the Flash development suite?

Man, I was just starting to not entirely hate Flash, too.
posted by mkhall at 8:09 PM on January 11, 2007


Mayor Curley: "Does Verisign have "Coupon: The Movie"?"

Wow, I know that guy. Doesn't he post here on Metafilter?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:24 PM on January 11, 2007


This whole story is just one more "Netflix is Dead!!! ACKOMG" fable bulletin of the many I've read at Hacking Netflix. I'm not riled. Neither are the Netflixen at HN.

Perhaps my faith comes from the delightful fact that I got free 3-month subscriptions as prizes for the UCSC filmfest six years ago from the VP of Marketing. By phone. Oy such a thing!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:37 PM on January 11, 2007


oaf writes "You vastly underestimate the bandwidth of the mail."

Hell ya, Netflix is shipping ~22 zettabytes (22,000,000 petabytes) every day. And that's just regular DVDs, add an order of magnitude for HD/Blu-ray. I hope Verisign has a _fat_ pipe.
posted by Mitheral at 8:53 PM on January 11, 2007


Horace Rumpole, have you tried Hollywood Express [not the same thing as the national chain, Hollywood Video]? They're all Cambridge/Somerville, but the stores are easily T-accessible [Central, Porter, and Davis Squares on the Red Line]. I haven't been to Austin, so I can't directly compare them with Vulcan, but I watch a fair amount of foreign/obscure stuff, and Hollywood Express has generally been able to fulfill my cinematic cravings...
posted by ubersturm at 9:22 PM on January 11, 2007


It'll fail, except among the most harde core mac users.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:38 PM PST on January 11


Heard that one before. (it's a closed system and other brands do so much more = iPod)

Why does anybody take Robert Scoble seriously?
posted by adamgreenfield


Dave Winer is the last known person to take scoble seriously. Of course, Winer is a bit of a kook himself.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:23 PM on January 11, 2007


Also, this is peer to peer. Why the hell do I want to use some of my bandwidth to make Verisign money? I share stuff on torrents because I feel that I'm exposing more people to something that I think is cool and honestly, it's not costing anyone money. (I torrented half of BSG season 1 then bought the dvds for the commentary. Next paycheck I get 2.0, so I really don't buy the argument that I'm costing anyone any money by doing this sort of thing.)

But using bandwidth that I payed for to help give someone else money, especially a company like verisign? Not happening.

If they payed me back per the MB that I sent to their customers, then I might consider it (buy the hot release on the day it comes out, make more back by being a reliable seed). But they're evil and stupid so they won't.

I'm going to stick with Netflix, iTunes and the local video rental place.
posted by Hactar at 10:33 PM on January 11, 2007


I've never used Netflix, since it started since I left the States, but I did use several UK equivalents. Occasional problems with damaged DVDs. Here in South Africa, I've had a run of bad DVDs and I'm feeling rather down on renting. I think what will kill rentals is damaged discs.

Sadly, also here in South Africa, bandwidth metered down to 5GB, and that is a premium account. You can buy more, but it's costly. We've bought quite a number of DVDs down here. Something pleasureable about owning the damn things.
posted by Goofyy at 10:34 PM on January 11, 2007


Wow, this is great news. I HATE verisign and Adobe and I really want to see them fail
posted by subaruwrx at 10:37 PM on January 11, 2007


You all misunderstand pundit bloggers. The goal of the pundit blogger is to get linked, not to be right.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:03 AM on January 12, 2007


Don't have time to read comments. Don't have time to figure out how to hook up my computer to my TV. Don't laugh, most average people are like me.

Exactly. I couldn't even begin to imagine my dad's attempt to hook his computer up to the TV!
Yesterday at school, a sub was in and the DVD-player wasn't connected to the TV (it has to go through the VCR first). None of the students could figure out how to make it work without me showing them. If a classroom full of HS students can't figure out how to hook up a DVD player properly, I have an extremely had time believing normal joe can.

On the subject of bittorrent, I also don't like the idea. Some WoW players will know exactly what I'm talking about. Blizzard distributes their patches via bittorrent. On patch day, the client often fails to download at any decent speed, usually grinding to a near halt- and we're only talking 50-200meg files in this case. increase that by a few magnitudes and I have a hard time believe it'll be efficient with a massive user base.
posted by jmd82 at 6:08 AM on January 12, 2007


Well, one of the other aspects of Netflix that I've liked is the depth of their catalog. Just about everything that I've ever had an itch to find has been available. In contrast, PPV, on demand video, and video stores have been rather disappointing. They were great if I wanted to watch last-year's almost-blockbuster. Not so great if I wanted to watch a series I dimly remembered from my childhood over the course of a month.

The iTunes music store offers similar levels of disappointment. (Not to mention the way they deal with classical music is irritating.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:25 AM on January 12, 2007


Why I love (the British equivalent) of Netflix is the back catalogue. Getting to watch my arthouse back catalogue without having to order them at £20 a pop or being laughed at in the local Blockbuster.

For the Internet-savvy kids, I doubt there is much of an interest for the companies providing downloadable content to create digital copies of, say, Tarkovsky's back catalogue.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:40 AM on January 12, 2007


Not so great if I wanted to watch a series I dimly remembered from my childhood over the course of a month.

Holy crap! I'd totally forgotten about that show! *Adds to Netflix queue*

I think Neflix will be fine for a while.
posted by Cyrano at 7:41 AM on January 12, 2007


slimepuppy: Do you use LoveFilm or Blockbuster? Lovefilm's service has gone downhill since the merger with Screenselect with dispatch delays, discs not turning up at all or being updated properly on accounts and the website showing that no discs have been sent then have then haven't.
posted by feelinglistless at 9:52 AM on January 12, 2007


feelinglistless, yeah, lovefilm (was on screenselect before the merger). The shipping times went down the drain when the relocated from London to Petersborough as well. Luckily I don't rent too many very popular titles (and the one's I do rent arrive whenever, which suits me fine).
posted by slimepuppy at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2007


Hmm. Not sure if people are set up for moving away from using good old dvds via the good old USPS. I'm thinking that adamrice above is more on the mark in terms of the quality of the catalog being what really counts for Netflixs. Things like this are more troublesome for Netflixs in my opinion.
posted by santon at 1:01 PM on January 12, 2007


I never thought I would say this (and for the record, I live in Austin), but Blockbuster killed Netflix for me.

I get three movies in the mail, watch them, take them back to the store and get three more right then, AND have the movies from my queue sent to me as well? Awesome. We are *never* without a movie.


I admit I've been tempted by Blockbuster too. But the catalog is even more disappointing than Netflix...
posted by mrgrimm at 4:21 PM on January 12, 2007


Scoble is full of shit. I like Netflix because they have a huge selection of really stupid movies, and I can rip the DVDs and watch them on my PowerBook and not having to deal with a bunch of DRM bullshit.

I rip the movie, watch it on my PowerBook because reading it from the hard drive uses way less battery than having the DVD drive spinning all the time.

I don't think Netflix is going to go anywhere for a while. It's certainly not going to be beat out by some DRM crippled crap.
posted by drstein at 9:46 PM on January 13, 2007




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